Seventeen SINHG members recently spent a beautiful Saturday morning with Shawn Halifax, the chief cultural history interpreter for Charleston County Parks and Recreation, learning about the cultivation of sea island cotton on Seabrook Island. When preparing a previous program for a conference last fall, Shawn spotted on Google Maps what appeared to be rectangular plots in the marsh on Jenkins Point. He determined that they were definitely the remains of one-forth and one-half acre plots used to grow the valuable long-filament sea island cotton. These plots were most likely constructed by slaves in the early to mid nineteenth century. Shawn pointed out the remains of the double dikes that had originally been constructed to keep out the salt water so that the land could be desalinated for the cultivation of the cotton. He had a multitude of interesting facts about the cultivation of sea island cotton, including the use of the nutrient rich plough mud as fertilizer. The revelation of this amazing piece of Seabrook Island’s cultural history was new to all of the attendees and we all came away with a great appreciation for those who came here before us..
-Submitted by Don Smith